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Toronto city council approves increased fines for more than 100 parking violations

Toronto police crack down on drivers in accessible parking spots in this file photo. (Natalie Johnson/CTV News Toronto) Toronto police crack down on drivers in accessible parking spots in this file photo. (Natalie Johnson/CTV News Toronto)
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Toronto councillors have voted in favour of increasing fines for more than 100 parking violations.

During Wednesday's meeting, city council debated a staff report that proposed hiking penalty amounts for 125 offences related to parking, stopping and standing.

Coun. Jennifer McKelvie, chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee, introduced a motion that revised some of the penalty amounts in the initial staff report.

"I think we quickly realized in discussions with council colleagues that maybe we need to go with more of a Goldilocks approach, as we had some bears that thought that the fines were too high, and we had some bears that thought that the fines were too low, and I think in the end city staff have come back with fines that are really just right," said McKelvie, whose motion was approved 20-1.

The fine for parking in bike lanes, for example, will increase from $150 to $200, while not paying the required fee at parking machines would jump from $30 to $50. The approved increases will come into effect on Aug. 1.

Council also ordered the general manager of transportation services to review all parking fines in five years and report back on those amounts adjusted for inflation.

McKelvie acknowledged that there will be pushback on the fines but said residents have an option to follow the rules and park legally.

"The thing that we really want is that if we didn't collect any money on parking offences in the City of Toronto, it would be a good day, because everybody was following the road, the rules of the road. Everybody was doing their part to keep people safe. Everybody was doing their part to make sure that we're easing congestion on the roads," she said.

According to the report, the current fines are out of step with the penalties for parking violations in nearby municipalities.

The report stated that most penalty amounts currently range between $15 and $60, which are "generally lower" than the fines for similar offences in surrounding jurisdictions.

"Most penalty amounts have been left generally unchanged (in Toronto) since their enactment and are not automatically adjusted for inflation," the report read.

"The recommended increase in penalty amounts will ensure better alignment with penalty amounts in other jurisdictions, encourage compliance, ensure certain offences are set at levels commensurate with the seriousness of the offence, and ensure that offences within the same categories are set at the same penalty amount for consistency."

Based on the volume of tickets issued in 2023, the city could see an additional $62 million in revenue as a result of the increased fines, though staff expect that actual revenue would be somewhere between $40 and $50 million.

The recommendations come after fines increased from $30 to $75 for drivers caught illegally parking on municipal and private property back in December.

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